Is it worth it?

By: Chelsie Cheesborough

Society has been for some time leaning towards more energy efficient everything. Hybrid cars, alternate fuels, solar power etc. The question I see the most is when it comes to homes.

I’m not sure if you have heard the commercials for different companies offering “money” for your old refrigerator or water heater so that you can upgrade to something more energy efficient. The reason that money is in quotations is because lets face it, they give you what, $300? and a new energy efficient refrigerator is $1500?


Don’t get me wrong, you are not paying full price for a $1500 fridge, but is it worth the money of upgrading?

Do you save more money than that in the long run, if you change all of your windows, how much does it really save you during your lifetime? says that the savings vary, which is easily understood. Some improvements may have less of a return than others, so do your research before making any major upgrades to your home.


So what kind of energy saving upgrades can you make to your home?

If you google the question a million things pop up, you have the choice to do less expensive things all the way to completely remodeling. Because I live in a rental home there is only so much that I am allowed to do to help possibly lower my bills and save energy. I can for example change all of the light bulbs in our house to energy efficient fluorescent lights. I can also be sure to change our air filter on a regular basis to be sure air is flowing optimally.



If you own your home you may want to take bigger steps. You can change to a tankless water heater, or replace windows in your home. has some great suggestions for more energy saving tips that are not an entire renovation. They also talk about air-sealing your home which is more on the remodel side of this, and tends to be expensive. However has potentially great benefits in saving money and in your health.


So is it worth it to make improvements on your home? It all depends on how much you want to save and what you are willing to spend to get to that point. In my situation with my family we strive to have a lower bill every month, so changing out my light bulbs does help and can save us about $10-$20/ month on our bill.


The BEST energy saving tip in my opinion however, is clearly to do it the old fashioned way and make sure the lights are turned out and the air is not on if you are not home.